Biggest success this weekend: bacon tater tots. Seriously, you need to try them. A restaurant near my house makes AMAZING bacon tater tots, so I created a copy cat version instead of walking down the block. Oops.
To start, peel two potatoes, put them in a pot, and cover with cold water until the potatoes are one inch below the water surface. Bring the pot to a boil and let cook for 6-7 minutes. You want the potatoes to still be firm after boiling because they will get cooked again when they are fried. You can also bake the potatoes until they are slightly underdone if you prefer that method instead of boiling.
While the potatoes are cooking, cook 2-3 pieces of bacon. Again, you can do this however you like; I always bake my bacon (bakon?). Cook the bacon just enough to be done but not crispy. I used very thick cut bacon, so if yours has a thinner cut then I would suggest using more pieces. This recipe is very flexible and you can add more or less bacon as you see fit. BUT I probably don’t want to be friends with the person who uses less bacon…
When your potatoes are done boiling, pull them out of the water to cool on a plate or cutting board. While the potatoes are cooling, transfer your cooked bacon to the food processor. Chop all of it until you have very small, even pieces.
Time to get out your grater. You can grate the potatoes with the large or small end, depending on the consistency you’re looking for. I used the small grate because I was chasing that melt-in-your-mouth effect that the restaurant’s bacon tater tots have. Either way, your potatoes should grate fairly easily. If I had cooked the potatoes fully at the beginning, the grater would turn them into mashed potatoes right now. But because I left the potatoes with some firmness during the boiling process, they grate into clearly defined pieces during this step.
Drain excess water from your potatoes using a dish towel or paper towel, and then transfer them to a bowl. Add the bacon, two tablespoons flour, and salt and pepper to the bowl as well. Mix everything together with your hands, and add more flour if needed to get a consistency that is dry but will still hold its shape. You can also throw in more seasonings at this point if you’re looking for a certain flavor.
Heat one cup of oil in a large skillet on medium high. While the skillet is warming up, form small tots with the potato mixture and set them out to be fried (you should have approximately 30 tots). Add them to the oil in small batches – no more than 10 at a time – and cook until golden. For me, this took about 4 minutes per batch with some turning in between.
Cover a plate with paper towels and use it to transfer the cooked tots onto. Once dry, they’re ready to serve! I topped mine with some fresh parsley and then promptly stuffed them all in my mouth.
- 2 large potatoes
- 2-3 slices thick cut bacon
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 cup cooking oil
- Wash and peel potatoes. Place them in a pot with water so that the potatoes are covered with water by 1 inch.
- Boil potatoes until a knife can be inserted easily but potatoes are still firm (about 6-7 minutes).
- Cook bacon. Chop in food processor until pieces are very small.
- Let potatoes cool and then grate them with a cheese grater. Drain excess water from grated potatoes if necessary.
- Combine grated potatoes, bacon, flour, and seasonings in a bowl. Mixture should be dry and pliable.
- Heat oil in large skillet. Form potato mixture into tots (about 30).
- Fry tots in oil for 4 minutes or until golden brown, turning to cook all sides. Fry in batches of 10 or less tots.
- Transfer to paper towel lined plate to dry.